May 9th, 2008

The President of the Central Council calls Israel the “spiritual homeland” of Jews

Munich – The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, emphasised the importance of the State of Israel for German Jews. "Israel is the spiritual homeland of Jews living in Germany today," said Knobloch in an interview given to the news agency France Press on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Israel. She stressed that one cannot underestimate the importance of this country. "The existence of a Jewish state gives Jews a sense of security that they have not experienced for more than 2000 years," said Knobloch. In her interview to the AFP, she expressed her disagreement with those in Israel who criticise Jews in Germany for having chosen this country as a place to live. Knobloch argued that today's Germany was a free and democratic country and that "the vast majority" of Germans recognized the responsibility arising from the events of the Holocaust. "It is therefore not a folly to live in this country if one has one's familiar roots here or has found here a new home," said Knobloch. She also spoke highly of German-Israeli relations, which she described as "characterised by friendship and very constructive." Knobloch said that the visit of the Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel (CDU), to Israel just a few weeks ago clearly demonstrated how good the relationship between the two countries was. (09.05.2008)